NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the Board and panels responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by Contract No. 50SBNB8C1003 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
Additional copies of this report are available from:
Board on Assessment of NIST Programs
National Research Council
2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20418
Copyright 2001 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Engineering
Institute of Medicine
National Research Council
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm.A.Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I.Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts and Dr. Wm.A.Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
BOARD ON ASSESSMENT OF NIST PROGRAMS
Michigan Molecular Institute,
University of Colorado at Boulder
Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies
Ex Officio Members
Mississippi State University
Health, Education & Research Associates, Inc.
RALPH K.CAVIN III,
Semiconductor Research Corporation
Cincinnati Machine, a UNOVA Company
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Illinois
Air Force Research Laboratory
University of Tennessee
LOU ANN HEIMBROOK,
DAVID W.JOHNSON, JR.,
LORI S.NYE, Consultant,
Mountain View, California
General Motors Corporation
Viaken Systems, Inc.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
IBM T.J.Watson Research Center
DOROTHY ZOLANDZ, Director
ELIZABETH L.GROSSMAN, Program Officer
BARBARA JONES, Administrative Assistant
This volume represents the 42nd annual assessment by the National Research Council (NRC) of the technical quality and relevance of the programs of the Measurement and Standards Laboratories of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This assessment is the work of 143 members of the NRC’s Board on Assessment of NIST Programs and its panels. These individuals were chosen by the NRC for their technical expertise, their practical experience in running research programs, and their knowledge of industry’s needs in basic measurements and standards. Each has given of his or her time without remuneration to participate in this assessment process.
I am continually impressed with the amount of time and energy that these review participants are willing to give to this assessment process. In a period when professional demands seem to press more and more strongly on everyone, these individuals have taken six to seven days total away from their jobs, on average, to participate in this assessment. Their willingness to do so speaks to the importance they attach to the NIST mission and to their commitment to the idea of striving for improved performance through performance measurement. I wish to thank the expert members of the Board and panels for their participation in and dedication to this process. Without their willingness to contribute their time and expertise, NIST would be deprived of a valuable management tool.
I am also impressed with the responsiveness of NIST to the findings of the Board and its panels. NIST managers and scientists have treated the assessment process as an opportunity to gain fresh insight into their programs and customers and have modified their plans and programs according to these insights. It is reassuring to see a federal agency so committed to program excellence and responsiveness to customer needs. The success of this assessment is dependent upon NIST cooperation and receptiveness to the inquiries and activities of the Board and panels. We thank NIST staff for the time spent in meeting with Board and panel members, as well as the time spent in preparing background information for them.
In 2001, NIST celebrates the centennial of its founding as the National Bureau of Standards in 1901. The contributions that this agency has made to the common good, to the advancement of national interests, and to the advancement of science and engineering in those 100 years are widely recognized. NIST can be
proud of the many and diverse achievements its staff have realized over its history. The Board and panel members join me in congratulating the current staff on this milestone in the agency’s history.
In carrying out this assessment, the Board and panels sought to meet the specific charge given by NIST and reproduced in Appendix A. I hope that the readers of this report find it to be fully responsive to the charge and that those with responsibility for oversight of NIST programs will regard this report as a useful tool in efforts to continually improve the programs of that respected institution.
Linda Capuano, Chair
Board on Assessment of NIST Programs
Acknowledgment of Reviewers
This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Ronald L.Alpert, Factory Mutual Research Corporation,
Robert Blancett, U.S. Gypsum Research and Technology, Inc.,
Steven J.Bomba, sjBomba Company,
Rinn Cleavelin, International SEMATECH,
John W.Coburn, IBM Almaden (retired),
R.Graham Cooks, Purdue University,
Simon Gibbs, Sony Electronics, Inc.,
Alastair M.Glass, Lucent Technologies,
Phillip Gould, University of Connecticut,
Andrew J.Hazelton, Nikon Research Corporation of America,
Roger F.Hoyt, IBM Technology Group,
Jeremy Isenberg, Weidlinger Associates, Inc.,
Brian W.Kernighan, Princeton University,
James McElroy, National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative,
Peter G.Neumann, SRI International,
James B.Nottke, DuPont Company (retired),
John R.Rice, Purdue University,
Harvey W.Schadler, General Electric Corporate Research and Development (retired),
Don W.Shaw, Texas Instruments, Inc. (retired),
James J.Solberg, Purdue University,
Neal Sullivan, Schlumberger Semiconductor Solutions,
James S.Thorp, Cornell University,
Barry M.Trost, Stanford University,
John L.Volakis, University of Michigan,
John B.Wachtman, Jr., Rutgers University (retired),
C.Grant Willson, University of Texas, and
James C.Wyant, University of Arizona.
Although the individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Norman Hackerman, the Robert A.Welch Foundation, appointed by the NRC’s Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, who was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.